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The Lost Art of Listening, Second Edition


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Table of Contents

IntroductionI. The Yearning to Be Understood1. "Did You Hear What I Said?": Why Listening Is So Important2. "Thanks for Listening": How Listening Shapes Us and Connects Us to Each Other3. "Why Don't People Listen?": How Communication Breaks DownII. The Real Reasons People Don't Listen4. "When Is It My Turn?"?The Heart of Listening: The Struggle to Suspend Our Own Needs5. "You Hear Only What You Want to Hear": How Hidden Assumptions Prejudice Listening6. "Why Do You Always Overreact?!": How Emotionality Makes Us DefensiveIII. Getting Through to Each Other7. "Take Your Time?I'm Listening": How to Let Go of Your Own Needs and Listen8. "I Never Knew You Felt That Way": Empathy Begins with Openness9. "I Can See This Is Really Upsetting You": How to Defuse Emotional ReactivityIV. Listening in Context10. "We Never Talk Anymore": Listening Between Intimate Partners11. "Nobody around Here Ever Listens to Me!": How to Listen and Be Heard within the Family12. From "Do I Have To?" to "That's Not Fair!": Listening to Children and Teenagers13. "I Knew You'd Understand": Being Able to Hear Friends and ColleaguesEpilogue

About the Author

Michael P. Nichols, PhD, Professor of Psychology at the College of William and Mary, is the author of Stop Arguing with Your Kids, among numerous other books. He is a well-known therapist and a popular speaker.


"Lily Tomlin once advised that we 'listen with an intensity that most people save for talking.' Michael Nichols, in The Lost Art of Listening, tells us how. This is a very special book which distills years of clinical wisdom into practical advice about improving our most important relationships and, ultimately, who we are...This is more than a good book, it is a vital manual for any of us who would either like to feel good about our relationships or avoid dying before the end of our lives." - Carol M. Anderson, Ph.D., coauthor of Flying Solo "What is true listening and why, the author asks, has it become a near-rarity in modern life? Nichols shows how to utilize this [art] to improve and repair relationships with spouses, lovers, relatives, children, friends, and colleagues, and even how to boost one's own 'listenability.' He also explains what listening isn't, explaining why people don't listen and listing obstacles to listening (especially defensiveness owing to emotional overreaction). Humor, true life examples and simple exercises make this a practical and even entertaining self-help guide." - Publishers Weekly "Powerful and informative." - Contemporary Psychology "The Lost Art of Listening is a valuable resource, both for my students who are learning counseling skills and for many of my patients, especially couples who have come to marriage with a 'listening impairment.' Nichols blends enough of the 'whys' with the 'how-tos' to serve both counselors in training and clients. The concepts are accompanied by rich illustrations that enable readers to put them into practice immediately. My graduate students report many 'aha' moments while reading this encouraging book." - Jeffrey S. Black, Professor and Chair, Master's Program in Christian Counseling, Philadelphia Biblical University, USA "I use this book in teaching first-semester graduate students counseling micro-skills. The students endorse it as the best of the texts I use. The Lost Art of Listening uses pragmatic examples from real life to illustrate active listening. This approach makes the material come alive for students who are just learning active listening, and is a great refresher for those who are already familiar with it. In addition, I often recommend the book to couples I see in my private practice." - Iverson M. Eicken, Adjunct Instructor, Department of Counseling, California State University, Fullerton, USA

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